There are many types of strategies to help elicit verbal speech. Prior to verbal speech children need to learn to imitate you in non verbal speech tasks, so they can imitate you during speech tasks! Often children need to me taught how to imitate you to, which your SLP can help with, but here are some at home ideas that are simple, require no funds and are easy to implement.
Songs – Sing these song and work on the gestures that go along them. Repetitive songs in context of gestures will strengthen the comprehension of sounds overtime since the words repeat over and over alongside the gesture. They provide lots and lots of opportunities to listen to the same words and movements. Many also rhyme and have repeated lines. Be overly dramatic and consistent with the gestures you use so your child can learn them over time:
- Pat a Cake – do high single fives throughout the song, start with ONE gesture at a time
- Wheel on the bus – make the motions of the song especially focusing on up and down gestures as that is one of the earliest gestures many children have is lifting their arms “up”, perhaps focus on a gesture for “down” if they already have “up” down. Meet your child where they are at developmentally and push them one degree more 😉
- Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes – follow along and point to your own head, shoulders, knees and toes and then your child’s
- All around the mulberry bush – and we all “fall down”
- Row, Row Your Boat – make rowing motions with your hands
- Baby Shark – make swimming motions with your hands
Games/Reading – Take household items / toys and work on imitation. Your goal is to be MORE FUN than the toy. Be animated and silly and make little noises.
- Reading – take turns turning the pages in a book/iPad screen, give the child and opportunity to continue the book
- Peek a boo – With a cloth on your head. Give the child the opportunity to do it also. You can give them their own cloth to imitation you.
- Roll a ball/car – Back and forth by sitting across from each other and taking turns. This also can be done at a table. You can say “weee” “gooo”
- Feed each other – You can take turns feeding each other with spoons, cups, straws etc
- Mr. Potato Head/Dolls/Figurines Dress up – Model putting in and on pieces for your child
There are so many ideas to do at home, these are just a few! Fee free to comment on your favorite below.